Settling On Mars
Elon Musk made news this year when SpaceX went to Mars and back for the first time. The successful orbit and return made headlines, and for good reason. It marked a significant step in the long term timeline of landing/living on Mars.
Had SpaceX not returned to Earth, it would have put Musk’s plans back a few years. The success means more development for future launches.
This flight confirmed the United States, Russia, and China as the three nations to have successfully made a trip to Mars. Other countries are right on their heels including the United Arab Emirates, Japan, India, and Europe. In fact, China has recently made news as the Mars probe Tianwan-1 finally touched down this month making China the third country to successfully land on Mars and has since sent back video footage.
Why are the countries racing for Mars?
To colonize the planet.
Each nation that has sent rockets to Mars, and even those which have yet to succeed, are planning to colonize Mars. But when will they finally put boots on the ground and when will they start to set up habitats?
What is the timeline?
The actual timeline for settling on Mars is only a projection. Let’s take a look at the timeline of previous Mars missions:
● In the 1970s the US and the Soviet Union sent Landers to Mars. Throughout the early 70s the Soviet Union launched multiple probes, the first successful of which was the Mars 3 Lander that soft landed on the planet. The Viking program was launched by the United States, sending two Landers to the planet. In both instances, the United States and the Soviet Union, the purpose of the Landers was to gather information and send it back to Earth.
● NASA launched the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft in 1997, the first time anything was launched after the initial Landings. It was controlled remotely and was able to travel the planet and gather data. Subsequent launches were unsuccessful including those from Europe and the United States.
● 1998 saw Japan launching their Nozomi mission.
● In 2003 NASA sent more rovers under the Mars exploration rover mission, again designed to gather information and send it back.
● 2007 was when the Phoenix spacecraft was launched. This was yet another uncrewed space probe that was an operation until 2008.
So what about now?
Now countries are vying for successful landings because those countries who land first, and set up a colony have more legal rights to the area and any subsequent natural resources that can be mined on the planet.
Who will get there first and win?
There is no way to tell exactly who will get to Mars first, and who will technically win this new iteration of the space race. At any given point in history, those who have achieved success suddenly fall behind their competitors for a variety of reasons and the same could be true of the current attempts by multiple Nations to make their way to Mars.
However, as it stands, Elon Musk and his SpaceX company have put a specific due date on their landing for Mars while many countries have given a relative time frame within a few years to a decade for their projected landing on Mars.
For Elon Musk, 2024 is the projected target date for launching Starships to Mars which will continue supplies to colonize. SpaceX is also preparing exotic space ships for transportation of travelers. Elon Musk tweeted that he wanted to create a self-sustaining City on Mars by the year 2030.
China has already released plans to establish a lunar base on the moon and subsequently explore nearby asteroids by 2030. As far as Mars is concerned, China has an aggressive plan to land around the same time as their landing on the moon.
Russia meanwhile is continuing to collaborate on the ExoMars program, hoping to launch rovers this summer and subsequently land within the next decade.
Only time will tell who the real winner is.
Why do SpaceX and NASA have an advantage?
SpaceX has an advantage over other countries primarily because it’s a privately owned company. Countries like Russia, China, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates have government-owned organizations behind their launches to Mars. Even NASA falls under this category of being slightly disadvantaged because of money.
The type of advantages that companies like SpaceX have simply have to do with the amount of money that can be funneled into the private organization by donors and owners as compared to government-controlled organizations which require their budgets be approved by bureaucrats with money taken from the only pool of available funding within that country.
Money brings with it subsequent advantages in the form of advanced technology achieved at a faster rate as well as the ability to hire experts in different fields at a more attractive salary. This is something that SpaceX has at its disposal, the experts necessary to construct probes and Rovers and spaceships for Mars colonization, something that simply can’t be achieved with the limited budgets of government funded organizations.
Which country or countries will govern the new land?
In 1967 a treaty was signed called the outer space treaty and it states that no one can own a Celestial body. So which countries will govern Mars?
The first one to land there.
According to this outer space treaty, private companies can set out for Mars and build habitat and start a society so long as they follow the rules of this treaty. The rules say that anyone who starts a colony on mars or any other planet can’t claim that they own the land. However, not owning the red dirt on which they start their habitat doesn’t mean they can’t colonize. It also doesn’t mean they can’t make laws to govern the people and actions associated with those habitats. There are some limitations according to the outer space treaty such as being unable to deploy weapons of mass destruction from the surface of Mars.
Given how many people are competing for habitats and colonies on Mars, it’s important to understand that the countries from which people are launched and the habitats they create on behalf of their country back on Earth will determine what type of colony it is.
For example: If Elon Musk successfully launches a space mission via SpaceX, it doesn’t matter where the launch originated be it French Guiana or Florida, the company is an American company and therefore any habitat created on Mars would be considered an American colony and subject to existing American laws. Similarly if a colony were launched from China by a Chinese-owned company, it would be considered a Chinese colony.
Once the habitat is established on Mars by one country or multiple countries, things get a little more convoluted where citizenship is concerned. Currently Maritime laws provide the type of structure and legal system that Mars will invariably have. Just the same as international waters, people cannot own the physical land of the planet which means that each spaceship and its subsequent inhabitants will have to follow the rules of whatever country owns that spaceship.
Even when they are no longer on the ship and are settling on the planet, explorers on Mars will still have to abide by the rules of whatever country flew them to the planet.
With time, and as more colonies are established on the planet, rules will have to be revisited when it comes to interactions among different individuals much the same as you see on the International Space Station today or when you travel on Earth; if you are German, a German citizen, and you visit Australia and physically hurt in Australian, your government gets to decide if you committed a crime and how they want to prosecute you as does the Australian government depending on where the crime took place. These are issues that will have to be laid out in whatever legal system is designed once the planet is colonized.
Online Shopping on Mars
Other legal issues will be economic in addition to the social issues of law and order. Who gets to set up shops? Can companies use flights to ship products from Earth to the different colonies and if so, who should be allowed to do so?
If the US is the first to land on Mars, Mars should consider yankeedeals.com as its first online shop. Why? Because yankeedeals.com represents American shopping at its best.
As a comprehensive shopping center, this online site would be the first on Mars to offer baby gear for colonizing families, American books and magazines for those who are far from home, computers and software alongside other consumer electronics in case things need repairs. The first people on Mars would get access to health and beauty products to counter any negative effects of space travel and their favorite foods and beverages while in space.
Moreover, yankeedeals.com prides itself on customer service, service that everyone deserves even if they are 33.9 million miles from home.
Article Disclaimer : The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website do not necessarily reflect the views, ideas, and perspectives of Yankee Deals L.L.C.
General Disclaimer :Please see Site Disclaimer